Posted by: bevmeldrum | July 25, 2007

Save The Cheerleader, Save The World – Part 2

I wrote yesterday about the impact that special people can have on our lives – those people that are our hereos.

As for the title of the post, if you haven’t got it already, it is a quote from the US show Heroes starting today on BBC2. If you have enjoyed any US TV over the last few years or you like a bit of sci-fi now and then watch it – it really has been a fantasic series. I’ve just watched the entire season on the Sci-Fi channel and enjoyed every minute of it, so much so I may tune into the BBC and watch it all again come September.

“Save the Cheerleader. Save the World”

But as this post is not supposed to be about US TV we should move on.

Reflecting on what had said about Ann as one of my hereos yesterday and then watching another espisode of Heroes last night I was thinking about the responsibility we have as social entrepreneurs to manage our gifts and abilities. As much as I want to be like Ann I will never quite make it because on many levels I am just not like her. What I do have though is a responsibility to rather than focus on becoming more like Ann, to actually learn from her but then put all of my energies into developing the things that are my specific giftings.

If as a social entrepreneur I want to make a positive impact in society, which I think is why we are all in this game, I have responsibility to become better at what I do so that I can have a greater impact. For me, there would be no point in putting all my energies into trying to write the software for our next version of Buisness Plan Writer – that just isn’t my gifting. I could probably manage it with a lot of IT books by my side, but it is not the best use of my abilities.

I have a responsibility to not do things just because they need to be done but to identify my particular talents and focus on those, binging other people into the organisation to do the other things that I may be ok at, but actually they are better at.

Back to analogy of Heroes if I can fly then I need to focus on developing that skill rather than learning how to melt kitchen applicances (you’ll have to start watching ‘Hereos’ now…)

Of course, when we start up a new social enterprise or ethical business for example, it is envitable that we end up doing a bit of everything. One of the tricks to turning that new venture into a sustainable organisation is to as soon as possible bring in other people to take on the tasks that you do not excel at. We’ll talk about how to pull that off in another post.

So the first question to ask yourself is what are your talents? What are the things that you excel at – things that no-one in your organisation would be as good as doing? Or, alternatively, if you are the sort of person who is good at many things what is it that you particularly enjoy doing to the extent that you would happily do that part of your job all day if you could?

You may not find the answer straight away – if you haven’t just keep thinking about over the coming months. Each time you do something different ask yourself – “Do I excel at that?”

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